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Dwight L. Moody’s Arminian Ministry Pt 1-Swaying the audience with emotionalism through music

Dr. Kennedy continues in discussing Moody’s ministry:

In connection with unscriptural devices resorted to in order to advance the movement, Dr. Kennedy mentions first excessive hymn-singing as one of these. “The singing of uninspired hymns even in moderation, as part of public worship, no one can prove to be scriptural; but the excess and the misdirection of the singing in this movement were irrational as well. Singing ought to be to the Lord; for singing is worship. But singing the gospel to men has taken the place of singing praise to God…. Many professed to have been converted by the hymns.

“The use of instrumental music was an additional novelty, pleasing to the kind of feeling that finds pleasure in a concert. To introduce what is so gratifying there, into the service of the house of God, is to make the latter palatable to those to whom spiritual worship is an offence. The organ-sounds effectively touch chords which nothing else would thrill….

“And yet it is not difficult to prove that the use of instrumental music, in the worship of God, is unscriptural, and that therefore all, who have subscribed to the [Westminster] Confession of Faith, are under solemn vow against it. There was a thorough change, in the mode of worship, effected by the revolution, which introduced the New Testament dispensation. So thorough is this change, that no part of the old ritual can be a precedent to us. For all parts of the service of the house of God there must be New Testament precept or example. No one will pretend that for instrumental music, in the worship of God, there is any authority in New Testament Scripture. ‘The fruit of the lips’ issuing from hearts that make ‘melody to the Lord,’ is the only form of praise it sanctions….

“But we use the organ only as an aid, it is said. ‘It is right that we should do our best in serving the Lord; and if the vocal music is improved by the instrumental accompaniment, then surely the organ may be used.’ On the same ground you might argue for the use of crucifixes and pictures, and for all the paraphernalia of the Popish ritual. ‘These,’ you might say, ‘make an impression on minds that would not otherwise be at all affected. They vividly present before worshippers the scenes described in Scripture, and if, as aids, they serve to do so, they surely cannot be wrong.’ To this, there are three replies, equally good against the argument for instrumental music. (1) they are not prescribed in New Testament Scripture, and therefore they must not be introduced into New Testament worship. (2) They are incongruous with the spirituality of the New Testament dispensation. (3) These additions but help to excite a state of feeling which militates against, instead of aiding, that which is produced by the Word. An organ may make an impression, but what is it but such as may be made more thoroughly at the opera? It may help to regulate the singing, but does God require this improvement? And whence arises the taste for it? It cannot be from the desire to make the praise more fervent and spiritual, for it only tends to take attention away from the heart, whose melody the Lord requires. It is the craving for pleasurable aesthetics, for the gratification of mere carnal feeling, that desires the thrill of organ sounds, to touch pleasingly the heart, that yields no response to what is spiritual. If the argument, against the use of the organ, in the service of praise, is good, it is, at least equally so against its use in the service of preaching. If anything did ‘vanish away,’ it is surely the use of all such accessories in connection with the exhibition of Christ to men. [Hebrews 8.]

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

Dwight L. Moody’s Arminian Doctrines Pt 4

April 14, 2014 1 comment

Dr. Kennedy continues in discussing Moody’s preaching:

“Souls who have a vague sense of danger, excited by the sensational, instead of an intelligent conviction of sin, produced by the light and power of applied truth, are quite ready to be satisfied with such teaching as this. To these, such doctrine will bring all the peace they are anxious to obtain. But what is the value of that peace? It is no more than the quiet of a dead soul, from whom has been removed an unintelligent sense of danger.

“The new style of teaching made it seem such an easy thing to be a Christian. To find oneself easily persuaded to believe what was presented in the gospel, and to think that by this faith salvation was secured, and that all cause of anxiety was for ever gone, gave a new and pleasing sensation, which thousands were willing to share.”

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

Dwight L. Moody’s Arminian Doctrines Pt 3

April 7, 2014 1 comment

Dr. Kennedy continues in discussing Moody’s preaching:

“True, much use is made of Christ’s substitutionary death. But it is usually referred to as a disposing of sin, so that it no longer endangers him, who believes that Christ died for him—who accepts Christ as his substitute. This use of the doctrine of substitution has been very frequent and very effective. Christ, as the substitute of sinners is declared to be the object of faith. But it is His substitution rather than Himself. To believe in substitution is what produces the peace. This serves to remove the sense of danger. There is no direct dealing with the Person who was the substitute. There is no appreciation of the merit of His sacrifice, because of the Divine glory of Him by whom it was offered. Faith, in the convenient arrangement for deliverance from danger, is substituted for trust in the Person who glorified God on the earth, and ‘in whom’ alone we can ‘have redemption through His blood.’ The blood of Jesus was referred to, and there was an oft-repeated ‘Biblereading’ on the subject of ‘the blood’; but what approximation to any right idea regarding it could there be in the mind, and what but misleading in the teaching, of one who could say, ‘Jesus left His blood on earth to cleanse you, but He brought His flesh and bones to heaven.’

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

Dwight L. Moody’s Arminian Doctrines Pt 2

March 31, 2014 3 comments

Dr. Kennedy continues in discussing Moody’s preaching:

“There is, of course,” he continues, “frequent references to the Spirit, and an acknowledgment of the necessity of His work, but there is, after all, very little allowed for Him to do; and bustling men feel and act as if somehow His power was under their control….

 

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

Dwight L. Moody’s Arminian Doctrines Pt 1

March 24, 2014 4 comments

Mr. D. L. Moody, the American Evangelist, was the great apostle of Arminianism in the nineteenth century. In 1873-74 he and Ira D. Sankey conducted a great evangelistic campaign in Scotland, in the course of which thousands professed to have believed in Christ. The Rev. John Kennedy, D.D. of Dingwall, one of the foremost evangelical leaders in Scotland in his day, wrote a review of Moody’s religious movement which he entitled ‘Hyper- Evangelism—Another Gospel, Though a Mighty Power.’ When so many who had a high position and commanding influence in the Church were declaring that it was a gracious work of God, Dr. Kennedy says that he has to confess that he is one of those to whom the movement has yielded more grief than gladness and that he feels constrained to tell why he is a mourner apart.

In forming an estimate of the doctrine that was mainly effective in advancing the movement Dr. Kennedy says that he had sufficient material at hand, that he had heard Mr. Moody repeatedly, and that he had perused with care published specimens of his addresses. His objection to Moody’s teaching was that it ignored the supreme end of the gospel which is the manifestation of the divine glory, and misrepresented it as merely unfolding a scheme of salvation adapted to men’s convenience. This confirmed objection he based on the following considerations. (1) That no pains were taken to present the character and claims of God as Lawgiver and Judge, and no indication given of a desire to bring souls in self-condemnation to ‘accept the punishment of their iniquity.’ (2) That it ignored the sovereignty and power of God in the dispensation of His grace. (3) That it afforded no help to discover, in the light of the doctrine of the cross, how God is glorified in the salvation of the sinner that believes in Jesus. (4) That it offers no precaution against tendencies to Antinomianism on the part of those who professed to believe.

“Go to the street,” said the great American evangelist, to a group of young ladies, who were seated before him, “and lay your hand on the shoulder of every drunkard you meet, and tell him that God loves him and that Christ died for him; and if you do so, I see no reason why in forty-eight hours there should be an unconverted drunkard in Edinburgh.” “This selfish earnestness,” remarks Dr. Kennedy, “this proud resolve to make a manageable business of conversion-work, is intolerant of any recognition of the sovereignty of God.

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

Whitefield’s preaching was the cause of the eighteenth century revival, not Wesley’s

March 17, 2014 2 comments

“One of the strangest, and most persistent inaccuracies in British secular and religious history is that which describes John Wesley as the true author of the Eighteenth Century Evangelical Revival,” continues Mr. MacQueen, “whereas anything of permanent value in the Evangelical Movement must be attributed, as God’s honoured instrument, to the Rev. George Whitefield, outstandingly. The contrary view could never find favour with any honest, impartial, serious student of history. It is, however, conventional today among English and British Dominion Evangelicals generally to give the whole credit for that revival to Rev. John Wesley, and his brother Charles, while Mr. Whitefield is only occasionally—and these occasions very rare— mentioned incidentally. It is a popular error, that needs to be corrected, that the evangelicals were more or less indebted to the teaching and influence of the Wesley brothers. They were certainly not the leaders of the Evangelical Revival.

“The Rev. Dr. Ryle, of Liverpool, in his book entitled ‘Christian Leaders in the Eighteenth Century,’ declares regarding George Whitefield: ‘I place him first in order of merit, without any hesitation, of all the spiritual heroes of that dark period’ (p. 31) and describes him as ‘the chief and first among the English Reformers of the Eighteenth Century’ (p. 44).” (Extracts from ‘The Eighteenth Century Evangelical Revival’ by the Rev. J.P. MacOueen. Free Presbyterian Magazine, Vol. LV. pp. 99-102).

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

The Romanist Oxford Tractarian Movement was the result of Wesley’s Arminianism

“It is, of the very essence of historical falsehood,” writes Mr. MacQueen, “to declare that the Romanist Oxford Tractarian Movement was the heir of the Evangelical Revival, whereas it was the logical development from the false teaching of the Arminian Methodist John Wesley.” “Dr. J.H. Rigg says concerning John Wesley: ‘The resemblance of his practices to those of modern High Anglicans is, in most points, exceedingly striking… He inculcated fasting and confession and weekly communion; he refused the Lord’s Supper to all who had not been baptized by a minister episcopally ordained; he re-baptized the children of Dissenters; and he refused to bury all who had not received Episcopal baptism’ (‘Churchmanship of John Wesley’ pp. 28-29). The present writer is amazed at Evangelical Calvinists who say that while John Wesley was undoubtedly Arminian in his views, his brother Charles was Calvinistic. After a careful perusal of their lives and the views of both of them, I am thoroughly persuaded that they were both Arminian to the core, Charles’ hymns notwithstanding. Their false undermining Arminian teaching and influence weakened the Protestant witness against Popery in England and throughout the British Dominions, while Scotland itself was by no means exempt, and this evil free-willism, as a result, continues rife and rampant in professedly evangelical circles in England and Scotland, and the whole English-speaking world, to this day. While thus, the eighteenth Century Revival saved England from the ‘withering blight of Atheism, masquerading under the euphemistic name of Deism,’ it is a great mistake to confound Evangelicalism with Wesleyanism, or to imagine that Wesley and Whitefield both belonged to one Movement and preached the same Gospel. On the contrary, their teaching was diametrically opposed, free grace being Scriptural, while free-will is the illegitimate product of the carnal mind. Whitefield was… Calvinistic… while Wesley, and his associates, were Arminian, semi-Pelagian and Sacramentalist.

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

It is amazing that any true evangelical Calvinist would ever quote John Wesley with approval

“It is amazing that any true evangelical Calvinist would ever quote John Wesley with approval, either in speech or in writing,” wrote the late Rev. J.P. MacQueen, London. “He bitterly hated and rejected Calvinism, while he taught a theory of justification practically identical with sanctification. His apologists have tried to persuade their readers that Wesley’s Sacramentalism was ‘merely an Oxford phase, and that it disappeared when he entered upon active evangelistic effort.’ His treatise on Baptism, which he published in 1756, proves the contrary: ‘By water, then, as a means—the water of baptism—we are regenerated or born again, whence it is also called by the Apostle the washing of regeneration. Herein a principle of grace is infused which will not be wholly taken away unless we quench the Holy Spirit of God by long-continued wickedness.’ If the foregoing quotation does not embody the false doctrine of baptismal regeneration, one does not know what does. Wesley commended the same so-called ‘devotional literature’ as the Oxford Tractarians, such as the works of Romanists like Thomas a Kempis, Francois de Sales, and Cardinal Bona. He even published the ‘Introduction to a Devout Life’ by Francois de Sales, the sworn foe of Calvinism, in 1750. He advocated prayers for the dead, justifying himself thus: ‘Prayer for the dead, the faithful departed, in the advocacy of which I conceive myself clearly justified.’” (Works, ed. 1872, IX. 55). The blessed departed are beyond the need of the poor sin stained prayers of the Church militant, for they are perfect in holiness.

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

Why did Wesley persecute Toplady?

February 24, 2014 2 comments

Why should Toplady who kept the faith and finished his course in this world with joy be the target of the shafts of Wesley’s venom? It is because he refuted on Scriptural grounds the Arminianism of Wesley, and fearlessly stood in defence of the eternal truths of free and sovereign grace. “By what spirit,” writes Toplady: “this gentleman and his deputies are guided in their discussion of controversial subjects, shall appear from a specimen of the horrible aspersions which, in ‘The Church Vindicated from Predestination,’ they venture to heap on the Almighty Himself. The recital makes one tremble; the perusal must shock every reader who is not steeled to all reverence for the Supreme Being. Wesley and Sallon are not afraid to declare that on the hypothesis of divine decrees, the justice of God is no better than the tyranny of Tiberius. That God Himself is ‘little better than Moloch.’ ‘A cruel, unwise, unjust, arbitrary, a self-willed tyrant.’ A being devoid of wisdom, justice, mercy, holiness, and truth.’ ‘A devil, yea, worse than the devil.’ Did the exorbitancies of the ancient ranters, or the impieties of any modem blasphemers, ever come up to this? … Observe, reader, that these also are the very men who are so abandoned to all sense of shame, as to charge me with blasphemy for asserting with Scripture, that God worketh all things according to the counsel of His own will, and that whatever God wills is right.”

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

John Wesley’s persecution of Augustus Toplady Pt 3

February 17, 2014 1 comment

The report continues that a pious dissenting minister expostulated in a pamphlet with Mr. Wesley on his unjust assertions in the following words: “Mr. Wesley and his confederates, to whom this letter is addressed, did not only persecute the late Mr. Toplady during his life, but even sprinkled his death-bed with abominable falsehood. It was given out, in most of Mr. Wesley’s societies, both far and near, that the worthy man had recanted and disowned the doctrines of sovereign grace, which obliged him, though struggling with death, to appear in the pulpit emaciated as he was, and openly avow the doctrines he had preached, as the sole support of his departing spirit. Wretched must that cause be, which has need to be supported by such unmanly shifts, and seek for shelter under such disingenuous subterfuges. O! Mr. Wesley, answer for this conduct at the bar of the Supreme. Judge yourself and you shall not be judged. Dare you also to persuade your followers that Mr. Toplady actually died in despair! Fie upon sanctified slander! Fie! Fie!

“Those who have read the preceding letters (by Sir Richard Hill and Rev. J. Gawkrodger) astonished as they must have been at their contents, will yet be more astonished to hear, that to the loud repeated calls thus given to him to speak for himself, Mr. Wesley answered not a word. Nor is it too much to say, that by maintaining a pertinacious silence in such circumstances, the very vitals of his character were stabbed by himself. He thus consented to a blot remaining on his name, among the foulest that ever stained the reputation of a professed servant of Christ.”

William MacLean-Arminianism-Another Gospel

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